Well, as predicted it’s 11 days after my due date and I’m still pregnant. Induction is booked for tomorrow, I’ve been given a 50/50 chance of going into labour before then but I think the midwife was just being nice. My Bishop score was only 5, so from what I’ve read the odds of going into labour naturally are pretty small.
I’ve tried all the old wives tales, as predicted they didn’t work. It does make me think back to my last induction, not a particularly positive experience so I’m hoping that it will be a little bit better this time.
When I was induced with Libby, she very clearly wasn’t ready to come out. I went into hospital on the Friday lunchtime and had pessaries for over 48 hours, interspersed with several membrane sweeps. These two factors brought on irregular contractions but I wasn’t dilating. Eventually, on the Sunday night they took me to the delivery suite and broke my waters. This gave me incredibly strong contractions every couple of minutes, but I still wasn’t dilating.
At this point, I tried gas and air for pain relief. I had no idea how to use it and clearly got it totally wrong. It sent me completely bonkers, I had no idea who I was, where I was or who my husband was; it didn’t help that the midwife kept calling him Steve, which isn’t his name.
As a result of the gas and air issues, I ended up with an epidural at that point, I’m not sure whether this came before or after the pitocin drip was put into my hand, I really wasn’t with it by then. Luckily, the drip did its job and Libby finally turned up just after 11 am on the Monday morning, 16 days late. Another indication that she clearly wasn’t ready to come out was the fact that her placenta retained and had to be surgically removed, resulting in me having a stronger epidural for that to be done.
If everything goes the same way again this time, it’s not the end of the world because we are both happy and healthy now. However, if I can possibly avoid an epidural this time, I will do for several reasons.
Firstly, having had an epidural for the birth followed by the surgery to remove the placenta, I ended up in roughly the same position for nearly 24 hours. I can only assume that this was why I suffered terribly with a bad back that still hasn’t really resolved itself now.
Secondly, I have always wanted to have a nice, natural water birth. If by any miracle I start to dilate after my waters are broken this time, I’ll definitely be opting for a water birth. I will also try again with the gas and air, I would like as much pain relief as possible whilst keeping it natural! This should also mean that I escape from the hospital quicker afterwards, which is always the ultimate aim!
The third and final reason why I don’t want another epidural relates to the way things went after the birth. Once I’d had surgery, I was taken into a ward, hubby was sent home and I was told to press a button if I needed anything. Shortly afterwards, Libby started to choke. I couldn’t get out of the bed to get to her and when I pressed the button to call the hospital staff, nobody came. This happened several times and whilst she was ultimately fine, it was a dangerous situation that I won’t be put in again.
That’s why this time, if I end up having an epidural and I’m unable to get out of the bed, I will refuse to be left on my own. If that means that one of my sisters has to come and stay with me until I can get out of bed then so be it, heaven forbid any hospital staff that try to stop them. Whilst I know that this won’t happen to everyone, I would advise anyone who is in this situation after an epidural to make sure that they’re not left alone.
So that’s it, one more day of waiting and hoping and then I’m off to the hospital. Fingers crossed this birth experience will be a bit more positive, but either way I’m looking forward to meeting “baby sister” (as Libby has affectionately named her) over the next few days.